Oil prices fell on Friday as rising US crude exports overshadowed inventories in the world’s largest consumer.
By 0660 GMT, the WTI crude futures contract was $ 62.70 a barrel, down seven cents from the last settlement price.
Brent crude <LCOc1> fell 11 cents to $ 66.28 a barrel.
US crude is still up about 1.7 percent over the week and Brent 2.2 percent, with crude heading towards their second weekly gain after suffering heavy losses earlier this month.
Friday’s decline came after the price rose in the previous session when the US Energy Information Administration said crude inventories in the United States fell 1.6 million barrels in the week ended February 16 to 420.48 million barrels, despite the seasonal slowdown of demand at the end of the winter season.
US Energy Exports data showed that US crude exports jumped to just over 2 million bpd last week, approaching a record high of 2.1 million in October. This helped reduce net imports to below 5 million bpd, the lowest level since the department began recording data in 2001.
US crude oil production almost changed last week to settle at 10.27 million barrels per day (bpd), close to the levels of Russia, the world’s biggest oil producer, and above OPEC’s top producer.
Globally, however, the world oil markets are still well supported by the growth of simultaneous demand for production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia.